The Latest: Incoming Missouri governor holds prayer service

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The Latest on the resignation of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

About 70 people and roughly a dozen reporters gathered for a prayer service for Mike Parson, Missouri's incoming governor.

Parson is currently the lieutenant governor and is set to assume leadership after Gov. Eric Greitens resigns at 5 p.m. Both are Republicans.

Parson's pastor from his hometown in rural Bolivar, Missouri, opened the service with a prayer that the new leader can be a healing peacemaker.

Parson's brother, pastor Kent Parson, also lead the gathering in prayer. He quoted scripture, country singer Tim McGraw and former President Harry Truman and preached about moving beyond the past and focusing on today.

Parson is to be sworn in shortly after Greitens officially steps down during a low-key ceremony in the governor's office.


4:45 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is exiting office amid scandal while touting a long list of things he has accomplished.

In his final moments in office, Greitens posted a nearly 1,500-word message on Facebook proclaiming that "we can look back with pride and forward with confidence."

The post asserts that he accomplished "more than anyone ever thought possible."

It touts economic growth, reduced government regulations, tax cuts and measures benefiting law enforcement officers and veterans. The long list also includes efforts to improve the foster care system.

Greitens did not mention the reason he is resigning in the Facebook post.

The Republican governor struck a deal to resign in exchange for a St. Louis prosecutor dropping a charge of misusing a charity donor list for his political campaign.


4:20 p.m.

Outgoing Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has granted five pardons and commuted four criminal sentences on his final day in office before his planned resignation.

Some of the people pardoned or commuted Friday were woman Greitens says were victims of rape or abuse. Pardons restore rights but don't expunge criminal records.

Those pardoned include Stacey Lannert. Greitens in a statement said Lannert served 18 years in prison for killing her father, who Greitens said raped her and her sister. Former Gov. Matt Blunt commuted her sentence in 2009.

Greitens also commuted the sentences to time served for two men he says were wrongly convicted of murder: Jessie McKim and Rodney Lincoln. Another Greitens' commutation will free Alvis Williams, who was sentenced for 80 years behind bars for stealing electronics.


3:45 p.m.

A judge has granted a reprieve from an order requiring groups supporting Gov. Eric Greitens to turn over records to the Missouri House.

An attorney for Greitens' campaign committee and a pro-Greitens nonprofit called A New Missouri had faced a Friday deadline from the judge to comply with subpoenas for documents.

But Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem granted the lawyer's request to suspend the order until he can hold a hearing on whether to reverse it.

Attorney Catherine Hanaway argued that the House panel created to investigate the governor no longer has authority to demand the documents because Greitens has said he will resign Friday.

A hearing isn't expected before next week.

The subpoenas seek records related to any coordination between Greitens, his campaign committee and the nonprofit.


3:30 p.m.

Missouri's incoming first lady says her new role hasn't fully sunk in yet.

Teresa Parson will assume the honorary title when her husband, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, takes the oath of office Friday as governor.

Parson is replacing Gov. Eric Greitens, who has said he will resign at 5 p.m. Friday.

Teresa Parson says she needs more time to plan what her focus will be in the new administration. But she says her current role with an organization that helps high school students at risk of dropping out would continue to be important.

Teresa Parson is a bank loan officer. The Parsons have two children and five grandchildren and currently live on a farm near Bolivar. Teresa Parson said she plans to move with her husband to Jefferson City.


1:25 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has signed 77 measures into law, just hours before his resignation, including one creating a specific crime related to the allegations he faces.

Greitens signed a bill Friday creating a felony of threatening the nonconsensual dissemination of a private sexual image by attempting to coerce another person to refrain from action.

Greitens has been accused of taking a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom he had an affair and warning her that he would distribute it if she spoke of their encounter.

The new law can't be applied to Greitens because his alleged actions occurred in 2015.

A special prosecutor is considering whether to refile an invasion-of-privacy charge against Grietens under a different law in place at the time.

Greitens has denied criminal wrongdoing.



Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is signing various bills into law in the final hours before he resigns from office.

First lady Sheena Greitens tweeted a message Friday saying her husband had signed two bills containing provisions "to help Missouri's vulnerable kids." Her tweet includes a photo of Greitens signing the legislation.

One measure increases the age at which teenagers are automatically charged as adults from 17 to 18. The other repeals a deadline to file charges for sex crimes against children.

The bills also contain provisions on foster care and adoption proceedings.

Greitens has said he will resign by 5 p.m. Friday. He had faced potential impeachment proceedings over allegations of sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations.


11:20 p.m.

An attorney for groups supporting Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens wants a judge to reverse his order to turn over documents to a House investigatory committee.

Attorney Catherine Hanaway filed a court motion Friday asserting that the House panel created to look into allegations against the Republican governor no longer has authority to demand documents because Greitens is resigning at 5 p.m. Friday.

Earlier this week, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ordered Greitens' campaign committee and a pro-Greitens nonprofit called A New Missouri to comply with a legislative subpoena by Friday.

The House still wants to enforce the subpoena for records of potential coordination between Greitens, his campaign and the nonprofit organization.


10:50 a.m.

Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson says he wants to assure people "that everything's fine" as he takes over for a governor who is resigning amid scandal.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has said he will resign at 5 p.m. Friday.

Parson, who is also a Republican, is to be sworn in as governor shortly thereafter.

In an interview Friday with KMOX radio, Parson said he has developed the experience and wisdom to handle tough situations from a career as a sheriff, lawmaker, farmer and business owner.

Parson is planning to attend a prayer service later Friday. He's inviting only a limited number of family and friends to his inauguration because he says the state is in "a healing process."

Greitens had faced potential impeachment over sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations.


10:30 a.m.

Missouri first lady Sheena Greitens is thanking the state's residents ahead of her husband's resignation as governor.

Sheena Greitens, who is married to Gov. Eric Greitens, tweeted Friday morning that, "it has been an honor & privilege to serve as First Lady of my adopted state."

During her husband's tenure she pushed for reforms to the state foster care system, and the Legislature passed several changes in May, including extending the amount of time agencies have to keep abuse records.

She is an assistant political science professor at the University of Missouri.

Gov. Eric Greitens will resign at 5 p.m. Friday amid mounting investigations into his personal and private life. Mike Parson, the state's lieutenant governor, is set to take the oath of office soon after.


10 a.m.

A Missouri judge has ordered outgoing Gov. Eric Greitens to direct his staff to preserve evidence on their phones for a lawsuit over the use of a secretive messaging app.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem also ordered Greitens' office to compile a list of staffers who downloaded the Confide app, their phone numbers and usernames. The deadline is Friday at 1 p.m.

At issue is a lawsuit filed by an attorney who argues that top governor's office staff violated the state's records-retention laws by using the app. The app automatically deletes messages after they are read and prevents recipients from saving, forwarding, printing or taking screenshots of messages.

Beetem issued the order late Thursday, a day before Greitens is set to resign. The judge says the goal is to help in gathering evidence for later use in the lawsuit.


12 a.m.

Missouri is getting a new leader as its scandal-plagued governor steps down, elevating the lieutenant governor to the top job.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has said he will resign at 5 p.m. Friday.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Parson is to be sworn in shortly thereafter during a low-key ceremony in the governor's office.

Greitens' resignation is part of a deal with the St. Louis prosecutor to drop a felony charge alleging misuse of a charity donor list to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign.

Greitens also had faced the prospect of legislative impeachment. And he still faces the potential for a special prosecutor to refile a charge alleging sexual misconduct in an extramarital affair.

Parson will serve the remainder of Greitens' term, which runs until 2021.